Posts from the “Communication” Category

Sounds Extreme

Posted on December 10, 2017

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The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum sits on New York’s Upper East Side in a renovated Andrew Carnegie mansion. When Carnegie purchased the land in 1898, it was more than a mile north of what was then considered fashionable society and many levels removed from the deafening steel mills that accelerated his fortune. It seems he wanted space for a garden. On a sunny Sunday morning in October of this year, the Cooper Hewitt galleries are quiet with only a few visitors at such an early hour. I break the silence by tapping a few keys on a dot piano in the Designing with Sound exhibit. The notes present a stark reminder of how sound surrounds us, how sound influences us, and how sound is often most noticeable in its extremes – the overwhelming excess in its presence or…

Field Notes: Sounds Extreme

Posted on December 10, 2017

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Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum I frequently recommend the Cooper Hewitt across age groups. In addition to the Designing with Sound exhibit during my October visit, I saw an excellent exhibit on Design in the Digital Age, and an interesting Virtue in Vice exhibit with objects categorized across the seven deadly sins. My previous visit to the Cooper Hewitt led to writing about Pixar. Notes on Max Neuhaus, Times Square Considering the foot traffic through Times Square, this is probably the most visited art installation in America. It just so happens the vast majority of visitors don’t realize they’ve visited. Neuhaus said, “I want at least fifty percent of the people to be able to walk through it without noticing, without hearing it.” By my observation across at least five visits,…

Perception

Posted on November 19, 2016

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Executive interviews highlights: CFO: The CEO is pretty low maintenance, he rarely asks for anything. CEO: Everything I’ve received from the CFO, I’ve had to request. Both true statements, but what a difference in perception! Are you getting what you need? How can I improve my service to you? What can we advance together? Can I be more proactive/directive/targeted? A little communication goes a long way. *

Avoiding Labels

Posted on August 14, 2016

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I witnessed a CEO encourage his leadership team to avoid labels. Don’t call HR. Call Carrie. Be a collection of people, not a collection of functional titles. Labels generalize. Labels categorize, often problematically. Names personalize. Names appreciate history. Names build relationships. “Just because two people may live in the same building in the same projects, may have felony charges for the same crimes, doesn’t mean they’re the same person. They may have gotten to the same existences taking two completely different roads.” –Michael Kenneth Williams on Any Given Wednesday *

Cosmetics

Posted on May 13, 2016

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Cosmetics send a message. Appearances matter. Yes, we should focus on substance. And yes, we can intentionally break some rules. No, I won’t mind if there are a few typos in your instant message. But please please please (as I told a team this week), clean your conference room before the meeting…it smells noticeably. “The rules of appropriate dress for time, place and occasion allowed people to get on with their work without distractions…” –Linda Przybyszewski in TIME *